Archive for the ‘Common Core Standards’ category

Using Hitchcock’s storyboards to address Common Core standards

September 24th, 2012

Reading Standard for Literature 7.7 in the Common Core reads:

Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).

When I think of effective (and just plain downright cool) use of lighting and camera angles, I think of Alfred Hitchcock. That’s why I was excited to see’s collection of storyboards from 13 of Hitchcock’s greatest films.
Using something like the storyboard from The Birds will help illustrate the effect of angles. Have students come up with other ways that they could have shot the scene from different angles and discuss how those changes affect the feel. (When the bird attacks Lydia, why do we want to be zoomed in on her face? Why not be side-on from a distance?) Where’s the emphasis of the action? What’s the pacing of the action? How do those factors impact characterization? This will help add a common vocabulary for you and your students which will hopefully in turn create an informed discussion when you discuss other adaptations from print to screen.

A Common Core search app for both Android and iOS

March 19th, 2012

Over Spring Break the Common Core standards came up in conversation (I do, on occasion, hang out with educators) and the people I chatted with wanted links to both the iTunes and Android App Store versions of MasteryConnect’s Common Core App. Where the app excels is in presenting the Common Core standards in an easy-to-read format at a moment’s notice.

The link to the iOS (for iPhones and iPads) is here and the link for Android users is here. If you can find a Windows Phone version, please leave a link in the comments. Also leave a comment if you have a better app. The other ones that I have found are missing one half or the other, making MasteryConnect’s the best option.

Here’s a QR code for the Android version:
QR for Android app

Here’s a QR code for the iOS version:

Here’s a QR code for this post:

Feel free to use the images or anything else from this post in a handout for teachers and your educational community.